Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Yoga Sequence For Anxiety
Yoga teachers can help improve initially, the breathing process in those students who suffer from anxiety with simple yoga poses. Subsequently, move towards those poses that help reduce heaviness in the body due to aches, stiffness, pains, etc., of the muscles and joints. Gradually with each yoga posture, the stretching of the spine moving from the base to the crown will help to reduce the prana blocks, along with unwanted energy blocks. Yoga helps to reduce the stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline and also stimulates metabolism with the increase in the energy flow, through the spine. Along with meditation and pranayama, the mind is soothed giving a deep sense of relaxation to the muscles, thereby having a better nervous system.
Anxiety is defined as - mental or emotional troubles leading to long term tensions or mental fatigue which creates disturbances in our energy flow. Some common symptoms are:
Irritability and Anger
Increased Heart rate
Lack of concentration
Some ailments due to prolonged anxiety, are: Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart Disease and Insomnia.
Generally for those suffering from anxiety spells or from symptoms related to anxiety, working on the limbic system is essential. The limbic system is a network of nerves in the brain that help to control fear, pleasure, anger and also help drive hunger and other related emotions and communications. A drop in this system, at times can lead to anxiety, or an anxious person may lose control over this limbic system. Hence, with yoga and breathing techniques this limbic system can be stimulated, and can also help in better functioning for a balanced body and mind.
With the given sequence that is slow and easy, it starts with some beginner level yoga poses leading to some intense ones, then with the practice of few rounds of Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar), and finally ending with breathing techniques. This sequence with eventually help with the flow of prana from the base of the spine in backbend or forward bend that will bring enough oxygen to the brain to help relax the nerves.
Yoga Sequence For Anxiety: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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A. From Supported Half Frog Pose:
Inhale - turn on your back
Exhale - bring the legs to stretch out completely
Inhale - bend the legs at the knees and place the soles of the feet together
Exhale - settle the body on he floor adjusting the shoulders, hips and feet.
Inhale/Exhale - to stay in Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Inhale/Exhale - to stay for 6 breaths.
B. Focus on the deep breathing and bring awareness to the movement of the abdomen, as it moves with every inhalation and exhalation.
C. Staying connected to the movement of the body along with coordinating the breathing process can help to ease the body, while giving room for more prana flow.
D. This pose helps to clear blocks at the base of the spine that further brings better prana flow to the various systems in the body, including the digestive system and the reproductive system. With better functioning of these systems, the organs get stimulated, thereby helping with the right hormone secretion.
A. Releasing from Supta Baddha Konasana, come to Savasana. From here:
Inhale - place a Yoga Strap around the feet while holding the ends on the strap in your hands
Exhale - stretch the legs up
Inhale/Exhale - to stay in Legs Raised With Strap
Inhale/Exhale - to stay for 6 breaths
Inhale - release and relax.
B. Using the Yoga Strap for stretching the legs in 90 degrees can help to bring better supply of blood to the hips, pelvis, and abdomen.
C. Raising the legs also helps to reduce heaviness, tensions, aches and pains of the legs. The reverse flow of blood while the legs are raised ensures better energetic muscles of the legs. Releasing the lower body tensions can be a great way to help ease the entire body.
D. When the legs are released the fresh flow of blood stimulate the leg muscles, giving them energy. Also the abdominal organs and the pelvis are stimulated too, with the reverse flow of blood followed with fresh supply of blood while releasing the legs.
E. Ensure the legs can remain in 90 degrees by holding the strap tight.
A. From Constructive Rest Pose:
Inhale - turn towards your sides
Exhale - stretch the torso lying down on the belly
Inhale - stretch the arms over your head
Exhale - extend the entire body
Inhale/Exhale - to stay in Reverse Corpse Pose
Inhale/Exhale - stay for about 6 breaths
B. While breathing is the most essential part of this sequence as that helps to bring awareness to the body and the mind, resting the body in various positions is given importance at the beginning of the sequence.
C. Moving further in the sequence are the poses that help to maintain balance in the body, better stability improving the thought process, and better awareness to stay calm and focused.
D. Rest here watching the movement of the belly as it pushes the floor with each inhalation.
A. Release from Reverse Corpse Pose:
Inhale - lift the chest and hips off the floor
Exhale - come on the knees
Inhale - lift the hips upwards
Exhale - press the chest and face towards the floor
Inhale/Exhale - to stay in Puppy Dog Pose
Inhale/Exhale - stay for about 6 breaths.
B. A great way to move the practice with the focus on the upper body closer to the neck, shoulders and head to encourage the flow of prana towards the brain.
C. With every exhalation, the chest moves closer to the floor encouraging the flow of blood/prana towards the stressed muscles at the shoulders and neck.
D. A great pose that also encourages awareness of the diaphragm movement with the breathing to further help ease the heaviness at the shoulders and chest.
A. From Puppy Dog Pose:
Inhale - lift the head and bring the left arm towards the right side
Exhale - bring the face to rest on the floor as you look towards the right side
Inhale - twist the shoulders and chest towards the right side
Exhale - raise the right arm up
Inhale/Exhale - to stay in Thread the Needle Pose
Inhale/Exhale - to stay for 6 breaths
B. With each breath of exhalation take the arm further towards the side extending the shoulders and chest.
C. A great twist pose to help clear unwanted energy in the channels of the upper spine. This will further help with smooth flow of prana into the brain to help release the stress and anxiety.
D. Twists help to improve the functioning of the nervous system clearing blockages with the active use of the muscles while in deep stretch.
E. This pose gives a sense of being humble while also bringing a gush of energy into the body, keeping one alert and aware while in the posture.